Seven pillars of effective talent management

Following on from yesterday’s article on the five reasons that talent management is important, here is a breakdown of the best practices that an organisation should adopt and ensure a strong foundation for a talent management system.  Without these seven pillars it is difficult for an organisation build a rock solid people strategy that will enable it to compete in an increasingly tough market.

1. Align your strategies

Start with the end in mind — talent strategy must be tightly aligned with business strategy. Far too often, the connection between talent and business strategy is considered long after strategic plans are inked in.

2. Integrate your talent plans

Talent management professionals need to move from having a seat at the table to setting the table. HR needs to own and put in place professional talent management processes and work with line management to develop business plans that integrate talent plans and enable the business to achieve its goals.

3. Design your success profiles

You must know what you’re looking for — for that, success profiles are necessary. A success profile defines the knowledge, experience, competencies and personal attributes for exceptional performance in each role or job. Success profiles are designed to manage talent in relation to business objectives throughout the talent lifecycle.

4. Develop all your talent

The talent pipeline is only as strong as its weakest link. While succession planning is obviously important, talent management must encompass a far broader portion of the employee population. Value creation does not come from senior leadership alone. The ability of an organisation to compete depends upon the performance of all its key talent, and its ability to develop and promote that talent.

5. Not all your talent is equal

Organisations realise the best returns when high-potential individuals, those who create exceptional value for the organization, receive a differential focus when it comes to development investments.

6. Know your terminology

While organisations understand the idea of a high-potential talent pool, they fail to appreciate the differences between potential, performance and readiness. Potential: Those who demonstrate leadership promise, have a high personal development orientation and demonstrate a mastery of complexity. Performance: How well the person is doing in the current role. Readiness: An individual’s ability to step into a new level of responsibility and meet demands of the new role within a short period of time.

7. Choose your options wisely

Talent management is all about putting the right people in the right jobs because not everything can be developed.  Lack of motivation for a specific role or a poor fit between employees’ values and those of the organisation leads to poor performance, and no classroom experience or learning activity will change this fundamental mismatch.

If you’d like some help in getting started, talk to us about how we could assist.


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